Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oscar charts: Best Supporting Actor

THE FIVE (4/5=80%)
1) Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls) (=)
2) Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) (+1)
3) Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) (+1)
4) Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) (+1)
5) Mark Wahlberg (The Departed) (+1)

UPDATE (1/23): Argh. I swapped out Wahlberg for Hounsou at the last minute, but in truth, I knew both would get in. But I never thought of taking out Nicholson (!), who apparently suffered some of the same category issues Leo did (or else, they just didn't love the perf that much). Good, though. Jack annoyed me in The Departed; I'm much happier with Wahlberg here. In fact, I like all of these performances, so I'm pretty happy with the lineup overall (well, I haven't seen Haley yet, but I know I'll like him, too). Hounsou's a lead, of course, but whatever. I've given up all hope on that subject.

UPDATE (1/22): Swapping Hounsou for Wahlberg. Having recently seen Blood Diamond, I now understand why people love Hounsou's perf so much. But it pains me to leave out Mark Wahlberg... I really really feel like he'll make it.

UPDATE (1/20): So hard to predict what'll happen here. Of the people I haven't chosen, I'm most concerned about Hounsou, who's scored everywhere but the globes, and Sheen, who's scored nowhere but has Queen Mirren on his side (actually, I think Mirren is overshadowing Sheen to the point where people are forgetting that he was great, too... so maybe she's helping, not hurting). Pitt and Affleck seem to have fizzled out somewhat, though they still wouldn't surprise me at all. Ultimately, I think Wahlberg has the edge from the NSFC award and the frontrunner film... and if you think about it, he's done as well as Jack in the precursors, so there's no reason to predict one and not the other. And Haley I think has enough critical love and peer love on his side (witness the SAG nod) to prevail. We'll see...

UPDATE (1/5):Crazy, crazy category. Beyond Jack and Eddie, anything's possible (yes, Jack will still make it, despite the SAG snub... that was Leo's fault). Right now, I'm thinking Arkin (looking good with ISA, BFCA and SAG nods), Haley (SAG! yes! sweet vindication!), and Sheen (very shaky, but still a major player). The most likely to displace someone is Hounsou, but I'm thinking it's either Leo and him or neither... and I think Leo's getting nommed for The Departed in lead... but maybe here instead (see his re-entry at #10).

UPDATE (12/16): This category has gotten confusing. It's VERY crowded; different groups have lauded different people, and even some who have not been lauded seem like genuine possibilities. The only locks seem to be Jack, Eddie and to some extent Michael Sheen (Sheen failed a globe nod, but was placed in lead at the globes; his LAFCA award and The Queen's general strength seem to indicate that he's in). From there, we have movie stars (Pitt), veterans (Arkin), critics' darlings (Haley), comeback kids (Affleck), wildcards (Hounsou), dark horses (Nighy), and a few men attached to acclaimed ensembles (Carrell, Damon, Wahlberg). I say it's anyone's game. But for now I've gone with Pitt (globe nom + general Babel heat = likely oscar nom), and in a leap of faith, Jackie Earle Haley. He seems as likely as anyone else, and for now I wanna say he shocks and makes it.

UPDATE (12/3): I'm finally giving in to the Arkin buzz; it looks like he's in the lineup. Jackie Earle Haley will probably sit this one out. Also, Leo reappers in this category with his supporting nod at the satellites, and Adam Beach rises with his nod. And Tobey Maguire falls to the bottom of the chart with Good German's fading buzz.

UPDATE (11/13): Minor shakeup at the lower end of the chart. Leo apparently is now lead for Departed... at least that's what Tapley thinks. So I'm going with it. Also, Wahlberg and Sheen appear at the bottom, cause when a movie gets this big, you never know.

UPDATE (11/1): Jack is back. He's apparently going supporting, along with Leo (fraud!). This knocks out Mark Wahlberg (who can't be expected to compete with both Jack AND Leo in this category) and also Greg Kinnear (competition from within and without his film is just too great).

FIRST THOUGHTS: I'm going out on a limb and predicting Jackie Earle Haley for a nod. Despite his film's box office troubles, reviews have been very good, and this just seems like one of those stories the academy won't want to ignore. But other than that, I have the same top five as most. Murphy and Pitt seem like locks, and Sheen and Maguire are looking very good. One of the Sunshine boys could easily make it, but I'm predicting they'll eat away at each other's support and kill each other's chances. Affleck, I think, will get the globe nod (celebrity, you know), but then miss out on oscar. And many of the other men down below also seem quite possible, despite the "firming up" of this category... we'll see what happens...


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